Pension Parishad urges PM to meet 100 elderly people

New Delhi, Dec 5 : The Pension Parishad Thursday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to meet 100 elderly people who are part of an indefinite agitation here, after assurances given by the government to restructure the existing pensions scheme have not materialized.

In its letter to the prime minister, the organisation stated that the targeted pension of Rs.200 per month, that forces senior citizens to live in penury and destitution is an unacceptable violation of fundamental rights, and the agitation will continue.

On March 7 this year, union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh had assured elderly people assembled at Parliament Street that a revamped pension scheme would be rolled out soon.

Recommending the immediate overhaul of the existing scheme, Ramesh also prepared a note for the cabinet recommending the universalisation of social security pensions at Rs.500 per month.

However, no action has followed, said the Pension Parishad.

"If the failure to honour the assurance is being attributed to a lack of financial resources, then it is imperative to state that citizens of India are being told that the central government does not have the money to fulfil its commitments," said economist Jayati Ghosh said.

She further that if the government decides to cut expenditure that includes the spending that should be considered essential for the social and economic rights of the people, it amounts to bypassing Parliament and defying both democracy and the Constitution.

--IANS (Posted on 05-12-2013)

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